The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | August 8,

U.S. & World News
ALA News
AL Focus
Booklist Online
Division News
Round Table News
Seen Online
Tech Talk
Actions & Answers


Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

U.S. & World News

National Security Letters Reform Act introduced
Designed to counter Justice Department abuse of National Security Letters as reported in an internal FBI audit in March, the National Security Letters Reform Act of 2007 (H.R. 3189) was introduced July 26 by a bipartisan group that included Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), William Delahunt (D-Md.), and Ron Paul (R-Tex.). The Justice Department’s handling of NSLs in libraries has been controversial, most notably in the case of the “Connecticut John Does.”...

Florida Library Association logoTax reform measures have Florida libraries bracing for major cuts
A property-tax rollback passed by the Florida legislature in June is sending libraries scrambling to prepare for significant cuts; but even worse consequences loom if voters approve a constitutional amendment on the January ballot. The June measure, which goes into effect at the start of the next fiscal year on October 1, is a tax cut and cap that requires cities and counties to roll back their annual tax rates to 2006–07 levels, as well as mandating additional cuts....

Ken District Library, Wyoming branchPatron abuse prompts trial of social-network filtering
One branch of the 18-facility Kent District Library system, which serves greater Grand Rapids, Michigan, began blocking access July 23 to the popular social-networking sites MySpace, Facebook, and Bebo on 34 of its 40 workstations. The six unfiltered machines face the reference desk, and so facilitate adult supervision of online users, including a number of alleged gang members who, police claim, have been using the social-networking sites as a means to intimidate rivals....

UCLA report proposes Taser policy changes
The University of California at Los Angeles released August 1 an independent report that found that a university police officer violated the university police department’s guidelines for acceptable use of force in using a Taser on a student in November 2006. The student, Mostafa Tabatabainejad, is suing the university, the campus police, and six individual officers over the incident....

ALA News

ALA–APA finds out how rural librarians rate their salaries
The ALA–Allied Professional Association asked the constituents served by the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services what they thought of their salaries, and the results make up the 27-page Rural Libraries Staff Salary Survey (PDF file), which was presented for a panel discussion at the Annual Conference in Washington, D.C....

PPO receives IMLS grant
The Public Programs Office has received a $358,000 grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. The award comes from the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians Program, and will fund development of an Online Resource Center for Library Cultural Programming over the three-year project term....

AL Focus

International Reception imageInternational Librarians Reception
This 3:35 video of the June 25 International Relations Round Table’s International Librarians Reception at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., features brief words from IRRT’s Susan Schuer, LC’s Deanna Marcum, ALA President-Elect Loriene Roy, and attendees from locations as varied as India, Los Angeles, Canada, and Bulgaria....

Irshad ManjiIrshad Manji’s appearance at Annual
Irshad Manji, author of The Trouble with Islam Today, delights a crowd at the 2007 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., with a poem from Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, then speaks about how public libraries aided in her development as an intellectual, a citizen, and a Muslim in this 2:19 video....

Booklist Online logo

Serving Teens Through Readers' AdvisoryFeatured review: Reference
Booth, Heather. Serving Teens through Readers’ Advisory. May 2007. 160p. ALA Editions, paperback, $36 (978-0-8389-0930-0).

As the teen specialist at Downers Grove (Ill.) Public Library, Booth brings together her experience working with an active readers’-advisory department as well as her knowledge of teen library patrons to cover all aspects of readers’ advisory for teens. The first few chapters discuss teen reading habits and why readers’ advisory for this group is different and also provide “Tips for the Generalist” who may not be an expert in teen fiction. Other chapters cover elements of the readers’-advisory interaction (“Opening the Readers’ Advisory Interview,” “Detecting Interest,” “Articulating Appeal”) and survey the various resources and tools that are available for identifying appropriate books.... 

@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....

Division News

Story of Ferdinand coverALSC joins Read for the Record campaign
In August 2006, more than 150,000 children read with an adult to support early literacy and set a reading world record. This year Jumpstart is partnering with ALSC to expand the reach of this award-winning campaign, and invite you to share Munroe Leaf’s The Story of Ferdinand with children in your communities on September 20. Read for the Record aims to raise awareness about America’s early education crisis....

ALSC and Candlewick “Light the Way” with grant
ALSC and Candlewick Press are pleased to announce “Light the Way:  Outreach to the Underserved,” a one-time grant of $5,000 for a library conducting exemplary outreach to underserved populations.  Special population children may include those who have learning or physical differences, speak English as a second language, are in a non-traditional school environment or a non-traditional family setting....

Scholastic to sponsor AASL’s Exhibit Hall Block Party
AASL is pleased to announce that Scholastic Library Publishing will sponsor the Exhibit Hall Block Party at the AASL 13th National Conference and Exhibition in Reno, Nevada, October 25–28. The event serves as the official exhibits opening ceremony and provides a no-conflict time for attendees to get a first look at the products and services offered by the more than 200 exhibiting companies....

ALCTS announces new publications and resources
ALCTS has released several new publications and resources for technical services librarians and library staff, including SALSA de Tópicos=Subjects in SALSA, Perspectives on Serials in the Hybrid Environment, and more....

An Abundance of KatherinesPenguin to give away books to new YALSA members
YALSA is looking for new regular members who want to “LOL @ your library.” The first 50 new members to join YALSA and celebrate Teen Read Week will receive nine Michael L. Printz Award-winning titles courtesy of Penguin Books for Young Readers, including An Abundance of Katherines by John Green....

Round Table News

GODORT database registry reaches over 46 states
The ALA Government Documents Round Table State and Local Documents Task Force efforts to create a 50-state registry of state agency–produced databases is nearing the end of its initial setup phase. With the help of 30 named volunteers, GODORT has created content for 46 states and the District of Columbia. The remaining four states have prospective volunteers who should be filling in content soon. You don’t have to be a named volunteer to help with the project. To get a small taste of what is becoming available through the Registry, check out the unofficial project blog State Databases of the Day....

Free Government Information

MAGERT map security imageMAGERT seeks input on map security (PDF file)
The Map and Geography Round Table conference program featured four speakers who discussed the impacts and implications of map collection thefts and map collection security, with David Cobb of the Harvard University Map Collection as moderator. The MAGERT Task Force on Library Security for Cartographic Resources invites you to comment on the draft map security guidelines (PDF file) by September 15....


ASBPE AwardAL Direct takes ASBPE gold prize
The American Society of Business Publications Editors has awarded American Libraries Direct first prize in the “E-newsletter” category in ASBPE’s 29th Annual Awards competition. Launched in January 2006, the membership e-newsletter was cited for General Excellence. AL Direct Editor George M. Eberhart accepted the award at the society’s National Editorial Conference in New York City August 2....

Vincent Lamanda presents Claire Germain with the Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur medal, France's highest honor, for her efforts in bridging the American and French legal cultures.Germain receives France’s highest honor
Claire Germain, the Law School’s Edward Cornell University Law Librarian and professor of law, received the Chevalier de La Légion d’Honneur July 17 for her efforts in bridging the American and French legal cultures. The award, which originated in 1802 under Napoleon Bonaparte and is considered France’s highest honor, recognizes outstanding achievements in military and civil life....
Cornell University Law School, July 19

LRRT announces 2007 award recipients
The Library Research Round Table has announced the 2007 winners of the Ingenta Research Award, the Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished Published Research, and the Jesse H. Shera Award for the Support of Dissertation Research, which honors work that advances library research....

Books, Maps, and Politics cover LHRT announces 2007 award recipients
The Library History Round Table has announced the 2007 winners of the Justin Winsor Prize Essay Award (Dr. Jean L. Preer, an associate professor at the Indiana University School of Library and Information Science in Indianapolis), and the Eliza Atkins Gleason Book Award honoring the best writers on the topic of library history, awarded this year to Carl Ostrowski for Books, Maps, and Politics: A Cultural History of the Library of Congress, 1783–1861....

Tom and Roberta Drewes Scholarship awarded
Christopher David Case, a cataloger at Johns Hopkins University, is the recipient of the 2007 Tom and Roberta Drewes Scholarship of $3,000, awarded to individuals currently working as library support staff and to be used towards studies for a master’s degree in library and information science. Case will attend
the University of Maryland at College Park....

Tony B. Leisner Scholarship presented
Elizabeth Aspen Walker is the 2007 recipient of the $3,000 Tony B. Leisner Scholarship, awarded to a library support staff member pursuing a master’s degree in library and information studies. Walker desires to be a public librarian and will be attending Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas....

Miriam L. Hornback Scholarship recipient named
Anna Lea Foote of Kansas City, Missouri, is the 2007 recipient of the $3,000 Miriam L. Hornback Scholarship, which Foote plans to use when she enrolls at the University of Missouri. The award is given to an ALA or library support staff member to help finance studies toward a master’s degree in library and information studies....

Christopher J. Hoy/ERT Scholarship awarded
Chelsea Couillard of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, is the 2007 recipient of the $5,000 Christopher J. Hoy/ERT Scholarship, awarded to persons pursuing a master’s degree in library and information studies. Couillard’s long-term goal is to work in special collections in a university or public library, and she plans to attend the University of Wisconsin at Madison....

Mary V. Gaver Scholarship presented
Wendy Brown of Jamaica Plains, New York, is the 2007 recipient of the $3,000 Mary V. Gaver Scholarship, awarded to a person pursuing a master’s degree in library and information studies with a specialty in youth services. Brown currently attends Simmons College in Boston....

Marshall Cavendish Scholarship recipient named
Jill E. Golden of Syracuse, New York, is the 2007 recipient of the $3,000 Marshall Cavendish Scholarship, awarded to a person pursuing a master’s degree in library and information studies. Golden attends Syracuse University and hopes to work as a librarian for the U.S. Department of State or for an international organization....

David H. Clift Scholarship awarded
Kristen Allen of Beavercreek, Ohio, is the 2007 recipient of the $3,000 David H. Clift Scholarship, awarded to individuals pursuing a master’s degree in library and information studies. Allen attends Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis in Indianapolis, and works as a substitute reference librarian at the Dayton (Ohio) Metro Library....

Cicely Phippen Marks Scholarship presented
Allison L. Snell of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is the 2007 recipient of the $1,500 Cicely Phippen Marks Scholarship. Snell attends Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and worked as the student liaison and program coordinator for an ALA preconference program entitled “Careers in Federal Libraries.”...

Seen Online

Your cheatin’ listenin’ ways
Janice Raspen, a librarian at Conway Elementary School in Fredericksburg, Va., came clean with her book club a couple years ago. They were discussing A Fine Balance, a novel set in India in the 1970s by Rohinton Mistry and an Oprah’s Book Club pick, when she told the group—all fellow teachers—that rather than read the book, she had listened to an audio version. Is it acceptable, they debated within and among themselves, to listen to that month’s book rather than read it? Or is that cheating, like watching the movie instead of reading the book?...
New York Times, Aug. 2

O'Keefe LibraryBishop’s name removed from university library
In a special meeting of the St. Ambrose University Board of Directors, the board voted to remove the late Bishop Gerald O’Keefe’s name from the Davenport, Iowa, university’s O’Keefe Library. The request maintained that the removal was warranted because of the bishop’s failure to take the necessary precautions to protect children from clergy sexual abuse that occurred during his tenure as bishop of the Davenport Diocese....
Associated Press, Aug. 3

The Call of MissouriHistorical mural waits to be found
Her painted eyes watched over the history of Kansas City as the famous and the not-so-famous entered the columned marble halls of the old Kansas City Public Library. Certainly Walt Disney would have seen her perched above the grand fireplace mantel as he checked out books on animation. But “The Call of Missouri”—Kansas City’s first World War I memorial—is lost. The painting, the size of a single-car garage door, disappeared sometime in the early 1980s. Who is watching over her now?...
Kansas City Star, Aug. 5

Tracing Service headquartersNazi archive internet access unlikely
The largest closed collection of Nazi documents is managed by the International Tracing Service, created by the International Committee of the Red Cross in the chaotic aftermath of World War II to track down missing persons and help reunite families. After years of pressure from victims groups and from the United States, the 11 nations that govern the Tracing Service decided in May 2006 to make them accessible for the first time to researchers and to survivors—but the decision required ratification by all 11 countries....
Associated Press, Aug. 2

Charles SimicSimic named as 15th U.S. poet laureate
American poet Charles Simic was named August 2 the United States’ 15th poet laureate by the Library of Congress, which described his poetry as accessible with some flashes of ironic humor. Simic, 69, who was born in Yugoslavia but immigrated to the United States when he was 16, will take up his duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary series, Librarian of Congress James Billington said in a statement....
Reuters, Aug. 2

Faulkner manuscript donated to SE Missouri State University
Most of the works of literary master William Faulkner chronicle a troubled, tortured South. But an original handwritten “sorority pledge” donated to Southeast Missouri State University’s Center for Faulkner Studies shows his generous, funny side. The university announced the acquisition to its collection of Faulkner letters, manuscripts, and artifacts on July 31....
Associated Press, Aug. 4

Budget cuts put law library in limbo
Law librarian Teresa Cassella knows the woes of fighting a child custody battle all too well. One recent afternoon, a divorcing father told her a story of his struggle to keep his children, and he hoped one of the Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Justice Center’s A. Max Brewer Memorial Law Library’s books held the answer to his dilemma. Cassella was able to help, but legal proponents worry the library may be on the chopping block in the face of budget cut talks surrounding property tax reform and space needs for courthouse expansion....
Melbourne Florida Today, Aug. 6

Venezuela’s four-legged mobile libraries
Mules are too tough to bother being sweet. They do a hard job that no other animal or human invention can do as well. But these mules are rather special. They are known as bibliomulas (book mules) and they are helping to spread the benefits of reading to people who are isolated from much of the world around them. The idea of loading mules with books and taking them into the mountain villages was started by the Universidad Valle del Momboy in Valera, Venezuela....
BBC News, Aug.4

D.C. library patrons indignant at lack of classic titles
D.C. Public Library officials say they’re reinventing the neighborhood library by culling their shelves, restocking with popular titles, and focusing on digital media and self-help books. But some activists say the library is dumbing down its collection in a city where cultural standards and literacy rates are already shameful....
The Washington (D.C.) Examiner, Aug. 2

On Demand Books machineBehold the 15-minute publisher
On August 1, in the lobby of a Midtown branch of the New York Public Library, three visitors—a graduate student, a Hong Kong publishing executive, and a sixth grader—stood in various states of awe as a Rube Goldberg contraption produced a book from digital code to hefty paperback in under 15 minutes. The book machine is a demonstration project of On Demand Books....
New York Times, Aug. 2

Millions in state funds released for Hawaii library
For years, Baldwin High School students in Wailuku, Hawaii, have squeezed into a 3,500-square-foot library without air conditioning. On August 1, Gov. Linda Lingle released $9.5 million for a new 13,000-square-foot library at Baldwin, much to the excitement of students and staff. “We’re just ecstatic about it,” said librarian Sande Trenholme. “We’re very thankful it’s finally happening.” The governor also released $8.7 million for a new eight-classroom building at Maui Waena Intermediate School....
Maui (Hawaii) News, Aug. 2

Denver Public Library Central LibraryDenver patron accused of selling his library books
A library patron suspected of selling hundreds of books, tapes, and DVDs he had borrowed has cost Denver-area libraries tens of thousands of dollars, officials said. Thomas Pilaar, 33, was suspected of using different names to obtain seven library cards from the Denver Public Library, then checking out 300 items per card and selling at least some of the items....
Yahoo News, Aug. 5

Senators take another stab at shielding kids online
Here’s another bill to add to the heap of congressional proposals offered in the spirit of combating child pornography and keeping kids safe from predators on the internet: It’s called the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act. If the 11-page bill seen by C|Net on August 3 becomes law, ISPs would face tripled fines for failing to report child pornography on their servers—up to $150,000 for failing to report child pornography the first time, and up to $300,000 for each subsequent failure....
C|Net, Aug. 3

recycle logoRecycling library a fresh idea in Mantoloking, N.J.
“Take what you would enjoy. Give what you want to share.” That sentiment is on the sign placed on two bookcases in the lobby of borough hall at 202 Downer Ave. in Mantoloking, New Jersey, the site of the borough’s new recycling library. The bookcases are overflowing with books contributed by the community’s avid readers, whose own libraries also were overflowing with books....
Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, Aug. 4

Public libraries in Saigon sinking into oblivion
With diverse types of entertainment like computer games and cinemas, the reading culture in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, whose pillar is the local public library system, seems to be going through its less glorious days. Twenty is the average number of visitors per day to the public library of Phu Nhuan district, the population of which is around 10,000 times as many....
Saigon (Vietnam) Giai Phong, Aug. 7

Enemy agents at the library?
Scott La Counte writes: “When the patron told me members of the international community were watching her because she had knowledge of secret documents in the government’s possession and not to be surprised if federal investigators soon questioned me, I knew it was going to be an interesting night. Working in a public library, I have come across a number of strange things and an even larger number of strange people.”...
Orange County (Calif.) Register, July 31

Seattle Central LibrarySeattle's Central Library: the perfect public space?
In a world where third spaces—the places where we spend time away from work and home—are increasingly privately owned, how can we make our public spaces outstanding? Those looking for inspiration might turn to Seattle, whose citizens voted to spend nearly $200 million to create or revamp 27 public libraries, including rebuilding its landmark Central Library. But blogger Michael Lieberman has a less-rosy take on the subject, and Seattlest compiles some more mixed reactions....
CNN, Aug. 2; Book Patrol blog, Aug. 2; Seattlest, Aug. 3

Fire guts school library
A fire, which may have been caused by a lightning strike, gutted a historic building that contained the library of the private Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York, August 4, school officials said. The building, constructed in 1903, included Kaskel Library, with more than 35,000 volumes; a wing that contained computer labs; and a second wing with classrooms and librarians’ offices, Johnson said....
New York Times, Aug. 5

Shut Up and SingDixie Chicks’ flick in Waco, Texas? Only at the library
John Young writes: “I kept waiting for [the 2006 documentary about the Dixie Chicks] Shut Up and Sing to pop up on the ‘new releases’ marquee at the video rental I patronize. When I asked, an employee told me that the store had abstained because of the film’s controversial theme. So, I started calling a succession of Waco’s video stores, mostly chains. No Shut Up for rental. Hmmm. I did find two copies for purchase at separate retailers. That’s the $19.95 I had no intention of surrendering. What to do?” Hint: The answer involves the Waco-McLennan County Library....
Waco (Tex.) Tribune-Herald, Aug. 7

MaintainIT ad
Tech Talk

It’s time for social networks to open up
Scott Gilbertson writes: “Damn the Facebooks and the MySpaces. The last time we checked, there was this thing called the internet that had 6 billion users. It’s time to put our personal data back where it belongs—free and open on the open web. Social networks like Facebook and MySpace are taking the Web by storm because they make it easy to manage your personal data and keep in touch with people you know. But to get value out, you have to put something in.”...
Wired, Aug. 6

Wikipedia demoColor-coding Wikipedia entries to indicate trustworthiness
The online reference site Wikipedia enjoys immense popularity despite nagging doubts about the reliability of entries written by its all-volunteer team. A new program developed at the University of California, Santa Cruz, aims to help with the problem by color-coding an entry’s individual phrases based on contributor past performance. It then shades the text in deepening hues of orange to signal dubious content. Watch a demo here....
University of California, Santa Cruz, Aug. 2

TV ratings logoTV-blocking bill clears Senate panel
The Senate Commerce Committee August 2 unanimously adopted a bill (S. 602) that requires the Federal Communications Commission to study the availability of “advanced blocking technologies” to filter not just TV programming, but also internet content. The bill was different from the version introduced in February, which contained language that allowed the FCC to mandate use of blocking devices “across a wide variety of distribution platforms, including wired, wireless, and Internet platforms.”...
Multichannel News, Aug. 2

Hakia logoHakia search engine prepares to challenge Google
Hannah writes: “The bulk of what’s new and impressive about Hakia can be found in its ‘ScoopBar.’ The ScoopBar (which, unfortunately, only works with IE right now) takes your search, highlights the relevant items in the search results that are returned, and when you click on a result, even takes you to the appropriate place on the page where your topic is being discussed.” Hakia explains how semantic searching differs from popularity searching here....
Infodoodads, July 30; Hakia

Actions & Answers

Minnesota librarians shocked by bridge collapse
Martha Hardy writes: “When I left work around 6:00 pm yesterday, I heard several sirens, quite nearby. I decided they must be going to the university hospital and continued home, driving across the Washington Avenue Bridge. It wasn’t until I reached home and turned on the television that I realized what had happened: The 35W bridge had plunged into the Mississippi River during rush hour. The homepage of the University of Minnesota Government Publications Library currently features documents relevant to the bridge collapse.” LISNews is also calling for updates from Twin Cities librarians....
The Vital Library, Aug. 2; University of Minnesota; LISNews, Aug. 2

Technology transforms librarian perceptions
Due to the advances in technology, librarians have become information professionals who combine traditional “librarian” duties with the rapidly evolving technology users have has become accustomed to. “Evolution of the field and technology go hand-in-hand,” says Loriene Roy, a professor at the University of Texas/Austin’s School of Information and president of the ALA. Josephine Sche, Nancy Moscoso-Guzman, and John Jessen also discuss the changes taking place....
New Haven Connecticut Business News Journal, Aug. 6

Lyndon Johnson home movies stillC-Span delves into presidential libraries
C-Span, with extensive assistance from the National Archives, is introducing a new television series that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the modern American presidency. Presidential Libraries: History Uncovered is a 12-week series airing live on location from the 12 presidential libraries spanning Herbert Hoover to Bill Clinton. Debuting on September 7, the series demonstrates the evolution of the modern presidency with extensive use of never- or rarely seen film, video, private home movies (including those of Lyndon Johnson, pictured), sound recordings, photographs, documents, and more....
C-Span, Aug. 3

Presidential libraries podcast launched
Using technology to bring its unique holdings to the public, the Presidential Libraries of the National Archives and Records Administration has announced its podcast series, “Presidential Archives Uncovered.” Based on the Presidential Timeline website, “Presidential Archives Uncovered” broadcasts audio clips from the Libraries’ collection....
National Archives, Aug. 2

Reactions to FISA wiretapping bill
The ALA Washington Office compiles varied reactions to the Congress’s passage and President Bush’s signing of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act wiretapping bill, which met with significant controversy from various civil liberties organizations....
District Dispatch blog, Aug. 6

Siskel and Ebert imageSiskel & Ebert & Roeper archived
Roger Ebert writes: “The various incarnations of Siskel & Ebert & Roeper represent more than 1,000 TV programs, on which the three of us, and various guest critics, reviewed more than 5,000 movies. And now at last an online archive exists with all of those reviews. Starting Thursday, August 2, visitors will be able to search for and watch all of those past debates, including the film clips that went along with them, plus the ‘ten best’ and other special shows we did. The new archive will be at, and will be the W
eb’s largest collection of streaming reviews.”..., July 31

AFA's Geoff AleanderAcademic Film Archive looking for rare film uploads
The Academic Film Archive of North America’s “Save a Film” initiative encourages people to sponsor the uploading of a rare film from their 6,000-plus 16mm film archive to the Internet Archive for free public viewing. The website allows browsing of the eligible films, describes the sponsorship program, and lists the movies already uploaded to the archive....
Academic Film Archive of North America

Left to right: Faith Lundgren, Director, NJ Library for the Blind and Handicapped Director, Faith Lundgren; Comcast Regional Director of Community Affairs, Comcast Kimberly Smith; DHS Deputy Commissioner Ann C. Kohler; CBVI Executive Director Vito DeSantis; and State Librarian Norma Blake, of the NJ State Library, cut the ribbon on the new RTAC.Library for blind and handicapped dedicate new facility
The New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped a bureau of the New Jersey State Library, and the Department of Human Services’ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired celebrated the grand opening and dedication of the Regional Technical Assistance Center on July 30 at its headquarters in Trenton. The event showcased the newly-opened Regional Technical Assistance Center....
New Jersey Department of Human Services, Aug. 1

A History of the World in 10 1/2 ChaptersMore 20th-century literary genres in a nutshell
George Eberhart winds up his list of literary schools and movements defining the content and styles of novelists, poets, and dramatists who have flourished in the past 100 years. Puzzled by Postmodernism? Stymied by Symbolism? Tense about Tremendismo? Discover definitions and examples here....
Britannica Blog, Aug. 6

The future of small press journals is digital
Karen Schneider writes: “The future is digital, and that’s partly my fault. I’ve spent my library career as a technophile, and I’ll continue to play that role. But it’s one thing to promote access to electronic information as a common good and quite another to insist that a discipline’s needs are well-met by replacing a well-known, beloved form with an incomplete, disembodied, fletcherized stream of ‘information.’”...
Critical Mass blog, Aug. 1

Something Musical cover

Children’s music has been strangely silent in library storytimes—until now. Rob Reid, renowned children’s programming expert, offers a companion to accompany Children’s Jukebox, Second Edition. Something Musical Happened at the Library is a comprehensive guide to make music an integral and engaging part of children’s story hour!. NEW! From ALA Editions.

Take Action logo
Urgent action needed on SKILLs Act
On August 2, congressional representatives sent a Dear Colleague letter asking Members of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 2864, The Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries or SKILLs Act, which among other things requires school districts to ensure that every school employs at least one highly qualified school library media specialist in each school library. Learn more at the ALA Washington Office’s District Dispatch blog.


In this issue
August 2007

Current AL cover

A Library 2.0 Manifesto

Library Stamps of 1982

The Ventriloquist Who Changed the World

Annual Conference Roundup

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Library Web Manager. The Loudoun County Public Library in Leesburg, Virginia, is looking for a Library Web Manager to help create a new library website that will incorporate current technology and will provide a vibrant and intuitive presentation of our online and e-services....

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

A self-portrait by David Strother, otherwise known as Porte-Crayon, an illustrator for Harper's Weekly, who traveled throughout the Shenandoah Valley in the 1850s

The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War details life in Augusta County, Virginia, and Franklin County, Pennsylvania, from the 1850s to the 1870s. This digital archive, created with the support of the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, offers thousands of letters, diaries, newspapers, speeches, maps, images, and census and church records that tell forgotten stories from the Civil War era.

Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this new AL Direct feature? Tell us about it.

Smart Libraries

Subscribe to ALA TechSource’s Smart Libraries Newsletter to stay in touch with renowned experts covering the latest in library technology. The July issue includes Marshall Breeding’s The ILS Scoop and Tom Peters on the developing Web 2.0/Library 2.0 technologies.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

“A major challenge in identifying radiological threats on land is sorting them out from background radiation. ‘It's like trying to hear someone through a crowded restaurant,’ [physicist George] Lasche said. At sea, there is significantly less background noise. ‘It’s more like trying to hear a whisper in a library,’ he said.”

—Writer Betsy Mason on the mobile radiation detectors being tested by the Department of Homeland Security, Contra Costa (Calif.) Times, Aug. 1.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Father carrries child

Q. I just started a new job and can’t believe the library doesn't have a policy about parents leaving their children in the library! Where can I find resources to develop one... quickly?

A. As stated in ALA’s 2000 publication, Unattended Children in the Public Library: A Resource Guide: “Research is the first step in developing your policy. Start with your own library by reviewing any current policies to see if they adequately address unattended children. You may have a policy on disruptive behavior that does not refer specifically to unattended children but does define unacceptable behavior. In order to have a policy that is internally consistent and easy for staff to use and patrons to understand, it is helpful to cross-reference similar parts of the policy. The unattended children policy should be consistent with other sections of policy dealing with patron behavior.” See the ALA Professional Tips wiki for more....

The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Sept. 15–18:
International Digital Arts and Culture Conference, Perth, Australia. Contact: Cathy Higgs.

Sept. 17–18:
WebSearch University Preconference workshops, Washington Marriott, Washington, D.C. Contact: Walter McQuillan, 800-300-9868, ext. 201.

Sept. 18–21:
Reforma National Conference, El Paso, Texas. Contact: Selina Gómez-Beloz, 360-264-2369.

Sept. 21–23:
Nova Scotia Library Association Conference, Antigonish, NS, Canada. Contact: Stanislav Orlov.

Sept. 26–28:
North Dakota Library Association Annual Conference
, Jamestown, North Dakota. Contact: Donna James, 701-845-7276.

Oct. 3–5:
Missouri Library Association Conference
, University Plaza Hotel, Springfield, Missouri. Contact: Melissa Davis, 417-874-8140.

Oct. 4–7:
Library and Information Technology National Forum
, Marriott City Center, Denver, “Technology with Altitude.” Contact: Valerie A. Edmonds, 312-280-4269.

Oct. 10–12:
Iowa Library Association Annual Conference
, Coralville Marriott Hotel, Coralville, Iowa, “Cultivating the Future.” Contact: Iowa Library Association, 515-273-5322.

Oct. 10–14:
Frankfurt Book Fair
, Frankfurt, Germany. Contact: Ausstellungs-und Messe-GmbH des Börsenvereins.

Oct. 21–24:
International Conference in Trends for Scientific Information Professionals
, Hotel Meliá, Barcelona, Spain. Contact: Infonortics.

Nov. 2:
Brick and Click Libraries Symposium, J. W. Jones Student Union, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, Missouri. Contact: Pat Wyatt, 660-562-1639.

Nov. 20–21:
Eva/Minerva, the Jerusalem Conference on the Digitisation of Cultural Heritage, Jerusalem, Israel. Contact: Dov Winer.

@ More...

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